George Orwell (25th June 1903 – 21st January 1950) was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and social commentator. His works deal with themes of social injustice, totalitarianism and he was an outspoken supporter of democratic socialism.
Much of his work centred around politics and his influence so great he gave us the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe something totalitarian or overly authoritarian, and many of his neologisms such as Cold War, Big Brother, Room 101, Memory Hole, Thought Police and others are part of every day language today.
Today we’re concentrating on Orwell’s thoughts on Power and Politics and we’ve chosen quotes that aren’t necessarily so well known from his novels, but also from the many essays and news pieces he authored too.
“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”
“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”
“In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”
“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
Over the years at various interviews, press releases and readings, Rowling has talked about her own love of literature and has recommended many books that she loves. Today we’re going to feature eight of those books and the reasons the author loves them so. Read More
Open Book’s guests on the 20th of June 2017 were literary critic Peter Kemp and historical crime novelist Antonia Hodgson. They were asked about the literary devices that make their cringe glands flare up. Their answers included stories told through a foggy memory, or animal narrators.
From an early age Butler suffered from crippling shyness making her awkward, as a result she passed her time reading at the Pasadena Central Library, and writing realms and realms of pages in her ‘big pink notebook’. It will come as no surprise to her fans to learn that she quickly evolved from reading fairy tales to reading science fiction magazines. Read More
The entire block of 120 flats in the building were destroyed, despite the efforts of the heroic fire service.
Survivors have lost their homes, and the deaths of the victims is still rising as bodies are slowly being identified.
Authors for Grenfell Tower is an online auction focussed on raising money for the British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund, in honour of residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
He won the Booker Prize in 1981 with his second novel, Midnight’s Children, which was said to be “the best novel of all winners”. Generally his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent and combines historical fiction and magical realism.
His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses was published in 1988 and was the subject of a major controversy in Muslim societies. Many Muslims protested the book and death threats were made against Rushdie.
His works remain as popular, and as controversial, today and we cannot deny his quotes have depth and wisdom to them. Read More
Among this year’s honours are several authors, recognised by the Queen for their service in this honour’s list. Read More
Originally a budding artist, this was put on the backburner when she became a refugee. Eventually the family would settle in Britain and when Judith had her own children she started writing and drawing again. Read More